Located in northern Bali, Munduk is truly one of the most underrated places on the island. While Seminyak, Ubud, Nusa Dua, and now Canggu have become hotspots for tourism in Bali, Munduk remains a relatively untouched paradise.
Many visitors to Bali only go to Munduk as a day trip, but if you stick around you’ll see a side of Bali that you likely didn’t know existed. You’ll spend your days chasing the waterfalls, trekking through nature and exploring rice terraces. There are enough things to do in Munduk to easily justify spending a few days there.
Read on to find out why Munduk is such an underrated destination and why it should be on your list of places to visit on your next trip to Bali!
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Munduk, Bali – 10 Reason to Visit
1. Cascading Waterfalls
Munduk is home to many of the most stunning waterfalls in Bali. There is even one trek that will allow you to visit four of Mundak’s beautiful waterfalls in a single morning (or afternoon). The Munduk Waterfalls trek starts at the Melanting Cottages just one kilometer from Munduk village.
The first waterfall on the list is Labuhan Kebo Waterfall. This waterfall is the deepest of the four, so, if you’re visiting Munduk during the wet season, this is your chance to swim. During the dry season, however, the water level will only be at wading level. Regardless, it’s a great spot to cool off.
Just 10 minutes further down the trail, you’ll come to the turn off for your next waterfall, Red Coral Waterfall. It’s just a short downhill walk with a handful of stairs to reach this waterfall.
Third on your hike is Melanting Waterfall, my favorite of the four Munduk waterfalls. You’ll have to walk down 470 stairs to get to the bottom, but the view from the foot of the huge waterfall is a fitting reward.
Golden Valley Waterfall is the final waterfall on your trek. Eco Cafe that overlooks the waterfall is the perfect place to stop for a delicious lunch – their vegetarian meals are amazing.
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls
The Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are my favorite waterfalls on the entire island. These falls are still hidden gems in Bali, so it’s not crowded, the water is crystal clear, and it’s a great place for a refreshing dip. The water is definitely on the colder side, but it makes for a nice change on such a humid island.
Banyumala Twin Waterfalls are actually what drew us to Munduk in the first place. Our original plan was to stay in Ubud for our entire month in Bali and just take day trips out to other areas on the island. But, we quickly realized there were so many things to do in Munduk that we wanted to spend a few days there.
2. Lack of Crowds
Bali is undoubtely a beautiful place to visit, but there are many parts of the island that have succumbed to over-tourism. If you’re the type of person who feels the atmosphere of a place can be ruined by crowds of people, Munduk is definitely the place to go.
Venturing into the wilderness of Munduk is an ideal escape from the throngs of tourists in Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud. We spent a few days here the last time we were in Bali, and we barely saw anyone. In some cafes, we were the only ones dining, and when we hiked the Munduk Waterfalls, we only encountered a few other hikers.
Despite the lack of crowds, there are still plenty of things to do in Munduk to keep you occupied. This is what makes Munduk such a special place to stay in Bali.
3. Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
Hinduism is the main religion in Bali, which is in contrast to most of Indonesia’s other islands which are predominantly Muslim. Bali is home to dozens of Hindu temples – each one beautiful and unique – and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Mundok is no exception.
Appearing to float on Lake Beratanone, Ulun Danu Beratan is one of the best known and frequently photographed temples in Bali – similar to Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple (one of the most popular things to do in Canggu).
The temple is also surrounded by manicured gardens full of stunning red flowers and the grounds are a lovely place for a stroll once you’re done photographing the temple.
4. Amazing Local Food
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a foodie at heart. Food is one of my favorite things about traveling to different countries. There are so many flavors, textures, and aromas, and each country’s cuisine is different from the next.
Over the years, Bali has become quite Westernised and many of the restaurants in the tourist areas now serve western cuisine. While the pizza in Ubud is amazing and the smoothie bowls in Canggu are fresh and delicious, in Munduk, you’ll find only Indonesian cuisine.
My favorite Indonesian dishes are beef rendang, nasi goreng, mi goreng, sate ayam, and anything with tempeh. Make sure you give them a try on your next trip to Bali!
5. Instagram Opportunities
With its picturesque beaches, luxurious villas, and perfectly presented smoothie bowls, the island of Bali is known for being Instagrammable. And Munduk is no exception. Filled with both natural and man-made wonders, you’ll have endless opportunities in Munduk for the perfect Instagram snap.
For starters, Munduk’s waterfalls make gorgeous backdrops to your photographs. The best way to photograph waterfalls is to use a wide-angle lens, so you can capture the full length of the waterfall and the beautiful natural setting around it. Also, bring a lightweight travel tripod, so you can take photos with a slow shutter speed to blur the rushing water.
And no trip to Munduk would be complete without a visit to Wanagiri Hidden Hills. Full of elaborate photo sets, it was built just for Instagram opportunities. My favorite photo setups are the swings and bird’s nests which pair beautifully with the stunning backdrop.
Finally, the Handara Golf Gates are the entrance to a golf resort but they have also become one of the most popular Instagram backdrops in all of Bali. The Balinese architecture is characteristic of what you would see all around the island, including the Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple.
As this is an extremely popular selfie location, the best tip for photographing these gates is to come early – there will be a line of photographers later on in the day.
6. Spectacular Hiking
Being in the central highlands of Bali, there is a great choice of walks and treks in Munduk. The half-day hike around the Munduk Waterfalls definitely takes the cake for my favorite trek in Munduk.
Another great walk in Munduk is to the Twin Lakes Viewpoint which offers stunning views of Buyan and Tambingan Lakes. It can be done either as part of a half-day guided tour or on your own.
Spending your days going on walks is a great way to travel cheaply, but still gives you the chance to see the best sights!
7. Stunning Views
The best reward after completing a hike is a stunning view from the top. The views of the Munduk Waterfalls, the rice terraces, and the Twin Lakes Viewpoint are all equally stunning.
Perhaps my favourite view of Munduk was from my accommodation. We stayed in a small, family-owned guesthouse nearby to Munduk Village. Our room was simple, with a private bathroom and queen-sized bed, but the view from the balcony was really something.
After a day of trekking, it was a really nice feeling to sit out on the balcony and relax in the evenings with such a pleasant view.
8. Famous Coffee
Coffee – what’s not to love? The rich aromas, the heavenly tastes, and that little extra boost the caffeine gives you to start the day. And Munduk is the place to go for the best coffee in Bali!
The Munduk Moding Plantation sells ethically-sourced coffee that is also organic and supports the local community by providing means of employment. If you’re planning on trying Bali’s famous Kopi Luwak, this would be the place to do so.
The coffee beans at Munduk Moding Plantation are sourced from wild luwak (palm civet cats), which is more sustainable and humane than other coffee plantations on Bali which keep their luwak captive in small cages.
9. Lush Rice Terraces
The Tegallalang rice terraces outside of Ubud are the most famous in Bali, but unfortunately, in recent years, they have become much more touristy and commercialized. These days the terraces themselves are overshadowed by dozens of cafes serving specialty coffees and queues of tourists waiting for swing rides.
While Tegallalang is a must-see in Bali, you should pay a visit to one of Bali’s lesser-known rice terraces to experience their true beauty. Some of the more off-the-beaten-path rice terraces include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jatiluwih, the Sidemen terraces, and the Munduk terraces.
The Munduk terraces offer a similar landscape to Tegallalang, but with a fraction of the visitors. The rice terraces are located less than a mile from the Munduk village, so you can easily visit them on your own as a half-day walk.
10. Relaxing Resorts
Munduk is full of hiking and outdoor adventures, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of luxurious opportunities for rest and relaxation. I already recommended Munduk Moding Plantation for their Kopi Luwak, but they deserve another mention as they’re so much more than a coffee plantation.
The Munduk Moding Plantation also has a luxury nature resort and spa located within its coffee plantation grounds. In fact, the Munduk Moding Plantation is probably most famous for its award-winning infinity pool with sweeping views of the valley below.
And Munduk Moding Plantation is far from the only resort available in Munduk. There are dozens of luxury to mid-range resorts, as well as comfy guesthouses available for budget-conscious travelers. And if staying the night at a high-end resort isn’t quite in your price range, some properties also offer a day pass, so you can at least pamper yourself for the day.
That’s it – 10 great reasons to visit Munduk. What’s your favorite thing to do in Munduk? Let me know below.
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Delilah Hart – About the Author:
You’ll find Delilah traveling the world with a camera in hand. She spends her time writing for her travel blog, Our Travel Mix, as she ticks off UNESCO World Heritage Sites.